Institut Pasteur de Guinée
The Institut Pasteur de Guinée is an independent Guinean public institution that was founded in September 2015. On October 22, 2018, it opened its first laboratory, the “Pasteur Laboratory,” in partnership with Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry (UGANC) at a ceremony attended by four Guinean ministers. The Institut Pasteur de Guinée is an institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, working in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of the Environment, in line with the “One Health” concept. The dedicated research building and the Medical Biology Laboratory and Vaccination Center (LBM/CV) will be officially inaugurated in late 2022.
The Institut Pasteur de Guinée is committed to the long-standing aims of the Pasteur Network: its mission is to contribute to the prevention and treatment of diseases, especially infectious diseases, (1) through public health measures in Guinea; (2) through education and training; and (3) through basic, operational and translational research. The Institut Pasteur de Guinée is a leading platform for research and expert diagnosis, with an extensive array of technologies for serological and molecular detection and pathogen analysis, to the benefit of the wider Guinean population. With a range of multiplex tools (luminex, broad-spectrum PCR, microfluidics and sequencing), it can test for the presence of multiple pathogens simultaneously. Its methods and procedures are validated by external quality control.
The institute has taken shape over several phases, with the support of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE):
During the Ebola epidemic, a Diagnostic Laboratory was launched in Macenta, the epicenter of the outbreak, to support the Ebola Treatment Center run by the French Red Cross.
The LAB-NET project led to the renovation of 250m2 of premises at UGANC to house the “Pasteur Laboratory,” where scientists performed their first experiments, and to the recruitment of the first members of the institute in collaboration with UGANC.
The institute continued to develop on a dedicated one-hectare plot adjacent to UGANC, with the construction of a main research building covering 1500m2 and containing secure laboratories (a biobank, BSL2 laboratories and a BSL3 laboratory with insectarium) meeting the very latest standards. It became operational in October 2021.
A second building for public health activities to serve the Guinean population (LBM/CV) will be completed in autumn 2022 and come into service by the end of the year.
1. Virology Unit
Studies human and zoonotic viruses, including arboviruses, and houses the BSL3 laboratory containing an insectarium.
2. Parasitology Unit
Guinea is working in close cooperation with WHO for the elimination of human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).
Also houses samples from other Guinean or international laboratories and enables sample exchanges to facilitate research, in full compliance with international procedures and protocols (ethics, Nagoya Protocol). The Biobank is connected to the global project currently under development within the Pasteur Network, the Pasteur Institute Bioresources Network or PIBnet.
1. Improving public health in Guinea
With multiple national and international partnerships and access to state-of-the-art tools, the Institut Pasteur de Guinée is a key player in tackling infectious diseases, whether pandemic (COVID-19), epidemic (Ebola, Lassa fever, measles, rubella, etc.) or endemic (rabies, sleeping sickness, etc.). It contributes to research, prevention and diagnostics, and will soon also be tasked with vaccinating local populations.
The institute is developing a training curriculum including courses, continuing education and internships with the aim of identifying talented young Guineans to ultimately form a new generation of scientists from which the institute’s future managers will be recruited. Since November 2020, the Institut Pasteur de Guinée has also been involved in the launch of a Master’s in Immunology and Microbiology at UGANC, in collaboration with other Guinean institutes (INSP, CERFIG), the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the University of Montpellier (MUSE).
3. Research As well as with its supervisory ministry (the Guinean Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation – MESRSI), the Institut Pasteur de Guinée has fostered links with medical, veterinary and environmental institutions given its focus on zoonotic diseases and in line with the One Health and Global Health concepts. Various research projects have been developed since 2016, supported by funding from France (MEAE, AFD, Expertise France) and internationally (European Union, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and foreign partners, etc.). These include:
- The EBOLA-FORESIGHT project (2016-2019) on the spread of the Ebola virus and related viruses in domestic animals as intermediate hosts for transmission to humans. The project was funded by the German Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) and two veterinary institutes/universities in Sierra Leone: SLARI and Njala University.
- The EBO-SURSY project (2017-2023), which expanded this research to other zoonotic pathogens (Lassa, RVFV, CCHFV, etc.). The project is funded by the European Union and coordinated by the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and involves three French institutions: the Institut Pasteur (Paris), IRD and CIRAD.
- The MAEVA project (2021) to monitor SARS-CoV-2 variants, and the DIVINE project (2022) on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, both funded by MEAE.
- The REPAIR project (2020-2022) and the AFROSCREEN project (2021-2023) to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Guinean population using sophisticated serological and sequencing tools.
Our services to the Guinean people
Diagnostics: from COVID-19 to measles
The institute offered valuable expertise for the introduction of the first SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic capabilities in Guinea, with the support of the Pasteur Network.
We trained technicians who continue to contribute on a daily basis to the diagnostic effort for the expatriate community and for patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The results are provided in under 24 hours.
The institute also offers diagnostic services for other diseases such as measles and rubella, in accordance with local needs. In 2022, a new dedicated building will house all the institute’s services to the population:
- A Medical Biology Laboratory to seek accreditation in the near future;
- An international vaccination and rabies center.
The institute has an ADDFIELD 200 incinerator with a triple-layered refractory to dispose of all forms of hazardous, biological, pharmaceutical and medical waste in complete security. The incinerator features a secondary combustion chamber that burns smoke, guaranteeing an entirely clean and environmentally friendly combustion process.
To find out more about our projects, contact us.